CC BOARD  2018 - 2020 


Karen Gordon


Karen Gordon is the owner of J. Gordon Designs & Karen Gordon Hair Loss Solutions. She has been a licensed cosmetologist for 40 years and is a Hair Color Specialist and Certified Hair Loss Coach. Karen has a Master’s Degree in Applied Business from De Paul University. She is an active member of Cosmetologists Chicago, having served as Treasurer and Secretary, and currently is the Vice President. She has also served on many committees including the Scholarship Committee, Education Committee and Nominating Committee. She has been co-director of CC’s Photo Trend Release for six years. She is on the Board of Directors for Intercoiffure America/Canada and the International Association of Trichologists. She is member of the American Hair Loss Council and PBA. Karen lectures on salon business development at industry events across country.


Robert Passage

Vice President

Robert Passage, Chairman, CEO and Global Ambassador for Pivot Point International (PPI), has dedicated his career to improving the image of the cosmetology profession and cosmetology education. A member of the board of directors for the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) since 1995 and past-president of the Illinois Association of Cosmetology Schools (IACS), Robert continues his involvement in these organizations on behalf of PPI. His involvement with Cosmetologists Chicago (CC), the Advisory Council on Cosmetology Relations and Education (ACCRED) and Beauty Changes Lives (BCL), along with maintaining his own cosmetology and cosmetology teacher’s licenses, give him a thorough understanding of the educational needs of cosmetology students and professionals alike. But it is the time Robert spends with future professionals, on study abroad trips and in the classroom that is the most rewarding for this dedicated Pivot Point officer.

Lorrene Conino


Lorrene Conino, the owner of Salon Lorrene in Palatine IL, has been a cosmetologist and an active member of Cosmetologist Chicago for over 35 years.  She is also an member of Intercoiffure America/Canada, and received her BA in Marketing from Roosevelt University.

Lorrene has been on the Board of Directors for Cosmetologist Chicago for six years, having previously served as Director for two years and as their Treasurer for four years.  She has also served on their Sunset, INTA and Scholarship committees.  

She founded Salon Lorrene in 1998 and has effectively used it as a platform to better the lives of her employees, her clients and the community.  She is an ardent supporter of numerous charities, including CATIF Charity an organization that benefits women in need through an annual drive that supplies diaper bags filled with the first-year necessities for 50 female veterans for the Women’s Center at the Jesse Brown VA.  



Chris Damolaris


Chris Damolaris started in the beauty industry when he was 23 years old.  While attending beauty school, his first job was with Brian Michal Salons where he launched his career by sweeping, shampooing clients and assisting senior stylists.  Once he graduated, he mentored with Brian Michael McGrath for a year and a half, at which point he earned his own chair.  Three years later, in 1993, an opportunity arose for Chris to buy the Brian Michael Company - at the time it was one salon in Wheaton with 25 employees. By 2002, Chris had opened two additional salons in Naperville with more than 100 employees.  In 2005, Chris was approached by Frank Gironda with an opportunity to purchase the three Frank Gironda Salon & Spas, and he merged his Brian Michael employees into the Frank Gironda Salon locations.  In 2017, Chris acquired a fourth salon in Glen Ellyn. Today Chris is the owner of the Frank Gironda Salon & Spas, one of the western suburb’s largest salon and spa chains, with 150 employees.

In 2009, Chris invented the Color Tracking Systems.  As a salon owner, he recognized the universal issue with hair color waste and developed the Color Tracking System to measure and monitor the use of developer.  Color Tracking Systems has units in salons throughout the United States.



Kathy Jager 


Kathy Jager is a motivational industry writer, educator, and keynote speaker. In her book, As The Chair Turns, Tips & Snips for a Promising Future…the ESSENTIALS, she unveils the secrets to her success by sharing information on marketing, networking, personal and professional development, and practical skills that define success. Her focus is on helping professionals develop, master and remain committed to the beauty industry by providing valuable leadership and interpersonal skills that go beyond the beauty school program. She offers timeless tips that support the beauty industry and prepares professionals for real-world interactions, and discoveries on what it takes to be successful for today’s cosmetologist. She is a living example of creating a lifetime career and wants to help you get prepared for the journey.

Chris Valavanis


Chris Valvanis has always been fascinated by the effect a simple haircut can have on a person, and how it can change the way someone looks and feels. That fascination is what drove him to start cutting hair himself, then to open a salon, then two more, all while teaching others the art of the above-mentioned transformation.

Valavanis is the man behind the Vanis Salon empire, with salons in Schererville, Valparaiso and Crown Point. When he opened the first Vanis 31 years ago, Valavanis says he “had no ambitions of growth, none, zero. I just wanted a little four-chair salon with a few people who had the same passion for service and the craft that I did.” But he did things differently than at most other salons. He started the first salon apprenticeship in Northwest Indiana, developed an education fund so stylists could learn in other settings, and provided health insurance for his employees, the first of any salon in the area


Mireya Villarreal 



Mireya Villarreal is the CEO and founder of Pink Pewter, a social media influencer and motivator with 23 years’ experience behind the chair who grew a brand from a kitchen table concept to an international beauty brand sold in over 30 countries.

Mireya grew up in the wake of entrepreneurism, dedicated work ethic and creativity. Her experiences in life equipped her with the tools necessary to take ideas and make them realities, to take yes as the only answer and to be something different and special.


Nick Stenson


Nick Stenson is the Vice President of Salon Services & Trend for Ulta Beauty and has the privilege of setting the course for salon and services through trend development, as well as for overseeing training and advising 7000 stylists at over 1100 salons and stores across the country. Nick directs the seasonal, on-trend cut, color and styling offerings available at Ulta Beauty.

With the help of a team of hairstylists representing some of the most elite brands in the beauty industry, the Ulta Beauty Pro Team, together with the Design Team and Education Team translates the trends into seasonal, cut, color and styling offerings.  Once complete, the more than 100 Ulta Beauty Artistic Educators facilitate the training to ensure they are equipped with the necessary technical training to take to thousands of Ulta stylists in stores across the country.


Nick plays a key role in the development of the Salon & Services strategy that continues to take Ulta Beauty to the next level in hair, beauty and skincare offerings. Nick’s experience as a former multi-unit salon owner and as the former senior creative director for a chain of 859 salons with 10,000 stylists nationwide contributes to the beauty industry arsenal.


Nick Stenson is passionate to leave his mark as a respected professional voice and face of the industry, one known for recognizing its beauty

If you have any questions regarding the nominating process, please contact the CC Executive Office on 312.321.6809 or via email at

Click here to see the Duties and Responsibilities of the Board of Directors as listed in the Bylaws.

*The photo submitted with your nomination will be used for the Ballot which goes to all regular members for voting.